When you start talking to people in Pakistan, almost all the people you hang around eventually hold to more or less the same values. Most of them driven by our Islamic heritage, social class and the general socio political situations around us. Yet, there is conflict. Why, if we all believe in the same things, is there disagreement?
One answer you get around to often is priorities and preferences. We differ because the same superset of values is arranged in a different order in our heads. Since we have limited energy and don’t always get around to what SHOULD be done, we end up looking very different to others.
http://changingminds.org/explanations/preferences/preferences.htm is a very elaborate explanation of the topic:
- Attraction vs. Avoidance: We may be driven more by fears or desires.
- Blame vs. Explain: When things go wrong, we blame others or the context.
- Contrarian vs. Conformist: Go against what is asked or follow all the rules.
- Extraversion vs. Introversion: Motivation that comes from either people or thinking.
- Head, Hands and Heart: We are driven cognitively, behaviorally or affectively.
- Imperative: Response to command may be conformance, independence or contrariness.
- Judging vs. Perceiving: Living a structured or unstructured lifestyle.
- Optimism and Pessimism: Ways of seeing the world.
- Risk Bias: preference to take or avoid risks.
- Pain Thresholds: Where action is triggered.
- Sensing vs. Intuiting: Attention and meaning based on immediate data or deeper thought.
- Similarity vs. Difference: Focusing on what is the same about things or what is different.
- Subjectivity vs. Objectivity: Viewpoint when perceiving the world may be engaged subjectivity or detached objectivity.
- Task vs. Person: Getting the job done by task or person focus.
- Thinking vs. Feeling: Deciding based on logic or consideration of others.
- Threat Forecast: We may predict the future as negative and threatening or positive and hopeful.
Next time you see someone and think, “ye kia banda hai yaar” (what kind of a stupid person is this?), try thinking about these.